All of the feels of a junior developer

It has been too long since my last post! I suppose that’s what working full time again does – you find there is far less time to write regular blog posts!

As you will know if you’ve read this blog before (since I mention it in every post!), I took the course at Enspiral Dev Academy (EDA) earlier this year to learn Ruby on Rails. Before that, I was a marketing professional who had graduated with a diploma in Creative Communications (and degrees in English Literature) and had worked in a variety of comms-related roles since 2006. I had never fancied myself particularly technically adept and had therefore never really considered that I would end up doing anything technical for a living. But after feeling a general need to move on from the role I had been in for the last 5 years and not feeling inspired by any other marketing positions, I decided to jump off the deep end and try something completely different. Enter: EDA.

Since my husband, Samson Ootoovak, worked for EDA, I was aware of the course from its very beginning. But it didn’t occur to me to consider it for myself until I had watched the first couple of cohorts – filled with many people who had already had other, unrelated careers and had never coded before, just like me – go through the programme and get jobs afterward. Then it clicked; I could become a programmer too! My general feeling of malaise towards marketing combined with my need to do something new would be cured and fulfilled, simultaneously.

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WDCNZ 2015: “Surely it’s just an if statement”

(Title credit to Amanda Dorrell from her WDCNZ talk “The fuzzy line between design and development”) I had heard what a great event WDCNZ was after my husband, Samson Ootoovak (a Ruby on Rails and JavaScript developer – he was a Ruby teacher at Enspiral Dev Academy and still works for them on the contracting side of things), attended last year and raved about it. So while I was a student at EDA and WDCNZ tickets went on sale at Early Bird prices (March? April? Around then), we bought two at Sam’s insistence. I had obviously never been to a web dev conference (I’d only ever attended disappointing Arts conferences at that point) and was looking forward to going to such a good one. I also had no idea whether or not I would have a job by the time of the conference, but figured that most companies wouldn’t mind letting me go. I just started with Rabid Technologies on Monday, and they were more than happy for me to take off Thursday – my fourth day on the job – to go to the conference. We arrived in time for breakfast, which was awesome – smoothies, coffee, and bacon and egg on English muffins. I have to say, the WDCNZ conference organisers and staff at the Michael Fowler Centre really looked after us all day – the food and beverage selection was bountiful and yummy – we did not go wanting. It was great to catch up with other members of the Wellington community over breakfast; as per most events in Wellington it would have been hard to swing a brick (is that even a thing? I’m not sure where that analogy came from …) without hitting at least 5 people you know (not that you’d want to actually hit anyone). It was a good start to the day, and we were more than ready to get started when the programme officially began at 9.

(L-R) Megan Bowra-Dean, Cara Hill, Aurynn Shaw, Samson Ootoovak at WDCNZ. Photo by Samson Ootoovak.

(L-R) Megan Bowra-Dean, Cara Hill, Aurynn Shaw, Samson Ootoovak at WDCNZ. Photo by Samson Ootoovak.

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